A Knowledge Worker Graduates
I am a knowledge worker. Age 42. I have known this for a few years now but never fully recognized its full potential. I graduated with a business degree in Business and Technology Management from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. No, not the big Football machine called “Big Red” thats in Lincoln, Nebraska. Kearney is its smaller younger brother state school more focused on kids wanted a good education but can still get back home on the weekends easily. Back in 1990 our computer lab consisted on 20 to 25 computer terminals with ominous green lights glowing. It gave the whole lab a lime background. Programs were written in DOS. Lotus 1-2-3 was one of the first programs I used. I mainly used the computer lab to do my final term papers and saved them on the old floppy disc. As I look back on it most 5th graders have better technology than we started with. After I graduated in December of 1991I ended up moving to Portland Oregon and working for my first bank, First Interstate Bank. Enter my first experience as Knowledge worker.
First Interstate Bank was a fun place to work. I worked on the eight floor of the famous Montgomey Park building overlooking beautiful northwest Portland. . The underwriting was done locally for auto loans, unsecured loans and small boats. Any loan amount over $100,000 required upper management signature. The loans were held and all serviced at First Interstate Bank.
I pulled credit reports, organized small underwriting files and faxed out loan approvals out the local branches. We also organized the incoming faxes as they rolled onto the floor. You had to wait for the pages to “Cool Down” as they came off pretty hot! Looking back on my terminal took up half my desk space while to Dot Matrix printer took up the other half leaving very little room to write.
Fast forward to modern day I hear hundreds of keyboard clicks from fellow knowledge workers beyond my tiny cubicle. I pop my head up like a modern day prairie dog and scan the horizon. Miles and Miles of cubicles and dual monitors everywhere. Other Prairie Dogs pop their heads up too, spot me surveying the landscape. They pause and nod the acknowledge our joint plight of being tied to the Borg’s network. We are as non remote and interlocked to our computers as dogs on the backyard chain. Production would be at a stand still should the electricity shut off. Each department has its own purpose in the production link. Deviation will not tolerated. The mere suggestion of bringing in a smaller and more nimble SAAS or Software as Service Application to boost production or improve communication would result in disturbing the hive mind. So I wait and plot “How can I escape this restlessness?”
A Knowledge Worker’ s Dream Job
Can I be the only modern day knowledge worker that feels this way? Quiet conversations have been expressed during lunch that most co-workers are seeking something different. They did not go to college get their degrees only to be Ms. Data Entry, or Mr. Spreadsheet mover guy. I’ve chatted up that One of my passionate hobbies is to beta testing different kinds of software. I’m especially fond of chrome extensions, certain I-phone applications but mainly software as a service. I ask “Wouldn’t it be cool to build one?” I hear the sound of crickets and the hum of the pop machines in the lunch room….
“Come on guys, passive income is smart income” Haven’t you ever ventured out into the world of the self employed? I tried it once and failed, but I can’t wait to do it over again! I’m just seeking the Right repeatable and scalable business model. I will know it when I find it or pivot until I find it. they think I am a hopeless but loveable dreamer.
A Knowledge Worker’s Education
My only solice is my commute to work and the drive back home. I have an hour so I go to car college. Thank God for podcasts like that make my commute more bearable. I’ve been an active podcast listener since 2006.
The two biggest influences currently are Robb Walling’s micropreneur academy and his podcast,Startups for the Rest of Us. I think whats most realistic about what Robb is saying is that having a few different life style businesses that produce revenue every month is very possible. The key is that they be maintained with outsourced tier 1 customer service so you don’t create yourself another job. The scalability of this appeals to me.
Lately I have been devouring a podcast by Trent Dyrsmid’s, Online Income Lab -.click here for some serious knowledge on niche sites, Product development and internet marketing.
After family time and reading my 8 year old bed time stories. I will catch up on my twitter feed and read 15 or so tech blogs like PandoDaily, ReadWriteweb and Techcrunch. One of my personal favorites is Steve Blanks Blog. I will continue to learn and interview start up CEO, developers, internet marketers and founders to discover what they do so I can join them. The focus of the Time to Pivot blog is changing to focus more on early stage start ups and ideas. I am fascinated on How do they acquire their initial customers, early adopters and get early exposure. Their stories are inspiring and bring me a great deal of understanding and clarity.